SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Taking advantage of an ideal setup in front of her, Sheer Drama recorded her second consecutive Grade 1 victory and earned a bid into the Breeders’ Cup Distaff later this
year with 1 1/4-length victory Saturday in the $750,000 Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga.

Sheer Drama, who won the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap on July 18, won for the sixth time in 19 starts, and the $450,000 purse earnings pushed her over the $1 million mark in career earnings with $1,368,840.

The Personal Ensign was part of the Breeders’ Cup’s Win and You’re In program, which means Sheer Drama earned a fees-paid berth into the $2 million BC Distaff on Oct. 30 at Keeneland.

“Hopefully, we’re on our way to Keeneland,” trainer David Fawkes said.

Fawkes could only hope Sheer Drama gets a similar trip in that race to what she got in the Personal Ensign.

Stopcharingmaria, the 6-5 favorite under Javier Castellano, and Untapable, the 2-1 second choice under John Velazquez, were inseparable through modest fractions of 24.06 seconds for the opening quarter, 47.72 for the half-mile, and 1:11.51 for six furlongs.

Joe Bravo had Sheer Drama just behind that pair before moving to the outside entering the far turn. She stayed in a tracking position before tipping her out wide turning for home, and she struck the front in midstretch.

While Untapable and Stopchargingmaria faded, Sheer Drama drew away and easily held Got Lucky at bay. Got Lucky was second by a neck over Untapable, who was 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Stopchargingmaria. America and Tiz Windy completed the order of finish.

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“That’s how I hoped it would go,” said Fawkes, who trains Sheer Drama for owner-breeder Harold Queen. “I told Joe, ‘Try to sit behind those two,’ and it worked out perfect.”

Sheer Drama covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.05 and returned $8.80 as the third choice.

“I think we pretty much had a garden trip all the way around there, and I was just thankful for the
setup,” Bravo said.

Todd Pletcher was happy Got Lucky got Grade 1 placed but naturally was disappointed Stopchargingmaria, winner of the Grade 3 Shuvee four weeks ago, faded to fourth. It was the first time in six starts at Saratoga that Stopchargingmaria finished worse than second.

“Her and Untapable kind of went at it a little bit, even though the fractions were reasonable,” Pletcher said. “Javier said he was never able to get a breather along the way. I thought she fought very hard ’til the end, just a touch flat today from where she was four weeks ago.”

Trainer Steve Asmussen was happy to see Untapable, last year’s champion 3-year-old filly, break well for the second straight race and simply is hoping his filly just doesn’t like Saratoga.

“The fractions were by no means too much for who she’s supposed to be,” Asmussen said. “She
just hasn’t run her best races here.”